The Safe Start for Long-Term Care plan establishes criteria for long-term care facilities to permit visitation. The plan also offers guidance on trips outside the facility, communal dining and group activities, testing and screening, source control and PPE, and staffing.
Safe Start for Long-Term Care Plans Updated (10/7/2021)
The Governor has issued an update to Proclamation 20-66 the Safe Start for Long-Term Care Recommendations and Requirements Documents (plans).
Facilities should allow indoor visitations for all residents (regardless of vaccination status), except for a few circumstances when visitation should be limited due to a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The scenarios for limiting indoor visitation include:
- Unvaccinated residents, if the facility COVID-19 county transmission rate is HIGH and less than 70% of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated;
- Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated until they have met the criteria to discontinue Transmission-Based Precautions; or
- Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.
Compassionate care and essential support visits should be permitted at all times.
- Dear Provider Letter 2021-057 dated 10/11/2021 summarized changes to the plan
- Safe Start for Long-Term Care Recommendations & Requirements: Adult Family Homes, Assisted Living Facilities & Enhanced Services Facilities (effective 10/7/2021)
- DOH Risk Assessment Template and Letter for Community Visits (updated 4/30/2021)
- What you need to know about Compassionate Care visits
- DOH Definition of LTC Facility Outbreak
- DSHS/DOH webinar recording from 7/8/2021 webinar
Sample Policies and Other Documents
- Sample Covid-19 Safe Start Visitation Policy-Updated October 7, 2021
- Sample Essential Support Person Policy 10/7/2021
- Sample Policy & Procedures for AFH Tours
- Sample Infection Control Policy
- Sample Pandemic Disaster Planning
- DOH Announcement for Visitors Sign (updated 7/6/2021)
- DOH Visitor Log with Supplemental Guidance and Letter to Visitors
- Outdoor Visitation for LTCF (PDF)
- Updated Screening Questions (DOH screening questions and flow Chart):
- Fever (100.4 or more)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Recent loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Within the past 14 days, have you had contact with anyone that you know had COVID-19 or COVID-like symptoms? Contact is being 6 feet (2 meters) or closer for more than 15 minutes with a person, or having direct contact with fluids from a person with COVID-19 (for example, being coughed or sneezed on).
- Have you had a positive COVID-19 test for active virus in the past 10 days?
- Within the past 14 days, has a public health or medical professional told you to self-monitor, self-isolate, or self-quarantine because of concerns about COVID-19 infection?
- Updated Screening Logs:
- Who to screen and when:
- Visitors prior to outdoor visits or entering facility (when allowed-see Safe Start for LTC)
- Residents screen daily and after returning from community outing
- Staff screened prior to each shift or daily if live-in (include other facilities/hospitals worked in)
- If positive for symptoms of Covid-19 (Hotline 1-800-562-6078 and local health department):
- Visitors: do not allow entry into the home and advise to get tested for Covid-19
- Residents: contact primary care physician and local health department to seek testing for Covid-19
- Staff: call the local health department to seek testing for Covid-19
- If tested positive for Covid-19
- Residents: report to the Hotline 1-800-562-6078 and local health department and those listed in resident’s care plan
- Staff: follow return to work guidance below